It may have been chilly Tuesday afternoon, but the activity on Connecticut’s playing fields today was far from frozen.
Among the many activities around the state, Round One of the CIAC Girls Soccer playoffs were today where coaches took precautions with their players.
“I told them to bring all their cold gear, under armor, tights, gloves, hats, etcetera,” said Bolton High School Girls Soccer Coach, Paco Ruiz.
Bundled up, high school soccer players from around the state were ready to go.
“I’ve made sure that each girl comes with three or four sweatshirts,” said Northwest Catholic High School Girls Soccer Coach, Shelbie Carr. “I’m personally wearing two pairs of pants myself.”
Game time temperatures were expected to be near or below freezing, with the possibility of precipitation. These are not ideal playing conditions, but ones that create physical and mental challenges.
“It definitely does take a whole other layer, not just clothes but a whole other mentality to get them prepped and ready to go,” added Carr.
The CIAC oversees Connecticut high school sports but said any decision to postpone would not have been theirs to make.
“Given the vast difference that weather can have within our state, we do allow the flexibility for the schools to make that decision,” explained Glenn Lungarini, executive director of CAS-CIAC.
While parents stood idle, shivering on the sidelines, players may have been the most comfortable. Medical experts said frost bite and hypothermia are realistic risks, but being active could have helped the athletes stay warm.
“When you exercise you do increase your body temperature service temperature 10 to 20 degrees, which does allow people to exercise in the cold but extreme cold still one has to be very careful,” explained David Wang, Clinical director of elite sports medicine at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.
Games were scheduled throughout the day, with temperatures steadily dropping. Yet there wasn’t much complaining from parents who were just happy to watch their kids play.
“You know it’s not that bad,” said Chris Nicholas, whose daughter plays for Northwest Catholic. “It could be snowing. It could be raining. It’s chilly, there’s a little bit of wind but without anything coming down we’ll be fine.”